A Boy And His Rifle Part VI


A sort of guest post for this installment. From ARFCOM member, 14BoltFF.

This rifle has more kills than any gun in my collection. It is a vintage Remington Model 580 single-shot bolt-action rifle chambered in .22 Short, Long, and LR.

I have a bad chipmunk problem. They burrow along the foundation of my home, and I’m not cool with that. I have tried sticky traps, rat traps, and the bucket trap with very little success. I have various air guns that have worked every now and then, but they’re all weaker .177 caliber plinker variants. Last year, I decided to try something different. I picked up some CCI CB .22 Long cartridges to try out in the above rifle. I sighted the rifle in with five rounds and was amazed at how accurate and quiet it is with this loads. It’s as quiet as a weak air rifle. From there on out, it’s been a blood bath for chipmunks. This rifle and ammo combination racks up anywhere from 1 to 4 kills per day on the days it sees use.

Minus the 5 sight-in shots and a few misses, each empty slot in this package represents one dead chipmunk since last summer.

Here’s today’s haul, plus one bloater from the other day that I didn’t get a chance to clean up the day it was killed .


  1. For many years, whenever I stopped in to check on my great grandmother, I was expected to do a thorough check of her property and whack any rats, chipmunks, rabbits, groundhogs, starlings, cowbirds or crows I found. Considering she had a large garden, blackberry bramble, grape vines, a barn and outbuildings, feed storage, etc it was a target rich environment. Lotsa fun. I miss that…and the koolaid/tea/coffee with Grandma.

    • What did you use for the job? I was drooling over S&W 617s on my LGS’s web site this morning. That would be a sweet repeater for the job.

      I have my dad’s Depression-era Win 67. It’s not terribly accurate and I kind of wonder if he didn’t shoot the bore out. It has other issues too, so it could be a few things. When I was a kid, we’d occasionally pull it out for woodchuck control. They’d burrow under our shed, threatening its foundation and my mom’s garden.

      • Over the years…Crosman pellet gun, RWS pellet gun, ??? Grandad’s old bolt action that someone else inherited, Nylon 66 and a 10/22.

        Even then, I was destined to be a gun guy who never settled on the perfect tool for the job.

  2. Have Dad’s old Winchester M68-i think- he bought for $5 about 75 years ago. Used it to control vermin and still have a partly used box of 22CB caps that must be 50 years old, at least. It says cCi 22 CB Caps mini-caps reduced velocity + much info on back. Would never part with it and sure is quiet. Live out in the toolies but recently annexed into town so must retire it i guess. Only the coyotes are allowed to control the feral cats now.

  3. When I was a kid, we had a raccoon problem one year. They kept ripping apart the trash – even in cans. My mother gave me an order: “I don’t care how you solve this problem, other than I don’t want the neighbors calling the police!” I had a fascination with explosives at that time, and I’m sure Mom was trying to prevent me from making a “raccoon land mine” setup. I was kinda like “Awwww….” because I had been scheming about something like an actual land mine for raccoons, but command detonated so that no human would set it off. I could just have a roll of phone cable buried from the street to my “laboratory” and flip a switch to blow up the raccoon when I thought the coast was clear.

    So, as I said earlier in another post, we had that hell-for-heavy H&R with peep sights. After asking one of my USMC mentors about my problem and telling him Mom’s condition (“No neighbors calling the cops”), he first told me that my land mine idea would, in fact, attract all the attention Mom did not want, but that a skillful marksman would take a different approach. He purchased and then gave me a box of CB caps. He said “Aim for the base of the skull,” and gave me some other instruction in the matter of not being seen while holding a rifle.

    I did as I was taught, and raccoons never knew what hit them. They’d just slump over, “dead right there” in their tracks. I’d then go out to the street, pick up the dead raccoon, put that in the trash can, put the lid on, and be done with another one. I did over a dozen raccoons like this that summer.

    The loudest thing about that entire setup was the hammer hitting the firing pin. There was no muzzle report that I can remember.

  4. We have gophers out here on the Great Plains (from Once an Eagle, “The Great Plains, they are tedious, no?”) and they’ll do a number on your yard. You can kick one of their fresh mounds down and like as not, in a few minutes they’ll be throwing dirt back up, rebuilding it. I have an old tube-fed Western Field branded Mossberg Model 40 built with a peep sight that I like to snipe ’em with. Great fun. It’s pretty much un-American not to own and frequently exercise one of the great old 22’s they don’t build anymore, in my view.


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